Thursday, November 16, 2006

SUBCULTURE EDITORIAL: WHY THE COVER UP, COLIN?

HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL

Chief executive Colin Hilton has steadfastly refused to bring anyone to justice over the mis-rule of Henshaw's evil cabal.

But why the cover-up?
We now know that back in March 2006, a dossier of evidence supplied by whistleblowers was presented by former leader Mike Storey to Hilton and new leader, Councillor Warren Bradley.
This evidence concerned amongst other things, The 08 Place, The Summer Pops, the Kensington One Stop Shop and various other supplementary matter
The Head of the council's Internal Audit department, Gerry Callaghan ran panic-stricken from that confidential meeting to tell all to Exec Director Halsall, aka the smiling assassin, who in turn alerted The Liverpool Rottweiller, McElhinney.
So what did Hilton do in response to the serious issues which had been officially reported to him, by a senior councillor on behalf of the council whistleblowers?
First of all he refused to take any action against Callaghan for breaching a confidential meeting and compromising an internal investigation.
And even though he had discussed with Storey and Bradley calling in the police to investigate the allegations and concerns raised, Hilton then refused to take any further action involving the cops.
Instead he relied on a tame internal audit report which Callaghan, under the direction of Halsall, had hastily compiled which whitewashed the whole thing.
But Hilton did call in external auditors KPMG to mount a detailed investigation, including examining Bradley's increasing concerns about the way McElhinney had been running Liverpool Direct Limited.
  • Amongst the issues which have been repeatedly raised are the £200 cost of handling phone calls charged by McElhinney's LDL to the council's Education department.
  • The £12,000 annual cost of providing one single LDL computer to one single councillor. (This was what LDL charged to all 90 of the city's councillors, making them the most expensive computers in the universe).
  • The constant office moves which were ordered by McElhinney, shifting council staff from one building or floor to another, with crippling charges imposed for carrying out the removals.
  • Repeated double-counting of charges, fees and costs for a huge range of IT and other services.
  • Wilfully disguising the LDL pricing structure, so no-one could clearly see where all the money was going.
(Do you think the craven Echo might have investigated any of these? ed)
As LDL made hay with the money merry go round, Hilton allowed McElhinney to escape the council's clutches by transferring to become chief executive of the joint venture, Liverpool Direct Limited.
Are you with us, so far? (Every step of the way, ed)
So in other words the alarm had been loudly raised, but the householder then stood twiddling his thumbs and looking the other way, while allowing the burglar to escape with all the loot.
Then in desperation, the legendary Tony Parrish entered the fray, chucking in his grenade of the liverpoolevilcabal blog to blow apart what Hilton was determined to keep hidden (thank you, Tony).
This at least succeeded in forcing Bradley to ignore Hilton momentarily (while he was on holiday) and present the dossier (and further evidence) to the police.
And then everything
settled back to normal - Bradley ran out of steam, Hilton got back behind his desk and the cabalists escaped.
It is now clear that the police are unlikely to take any action against Henshaw, Halsall or McElhinney (who are jointly and individually responsible) unless Bradley is prepared to take matters much further.
(There now follows a lengthy ediorial aside: I have always wondered why Councillor Paul Clark's statement which showed Henshaw literally trying to blackmail the city council, could not be sent straight to the police. They would then have to talk to everyone involved and decide whether Henshaw had committed a criminal offence by demanding money with menaces. Then the whole thing would be blown open. Just a thought, ed)

All the signs are that Bradley has given up, is now backing Hilton's 'let's stay schtum', line and will keep his head down. For a quiet life.
So why won't Hilton hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?
Ever since he was appointed, Hilton has told councillors that he wants to draw a line under the mis-rule of Henshaw's evil cabal.
"That was then, this is now," is how his public position can best be described.
Some observers may wonder then, why Hilton could justify continuing to pursue suspended media chief, Matt Finnegan who had been framed by the cabalists for supporting the Leader? (Good question, ed)
There are some other interesting explanations for Hilton's failure to act:
1) Loyalty to Henshaw who appointed him as Director of Education in the first place.
2) Loyalty to the cabalists who he had worked with for five years.
3) He went to the same school as Chas Cole and Halsall.
4) He did not want his first few years as chief executive to be dominated by the Henshaw mess, when Liverpool needed work.
5) He had no affection for Storey and was glad to see him go as Leader.
6) He had no affection for Finnegan and was glad to see him go.
7) He wanted Bradley to know who was boss, so there would be no question of another public battle between Leader and chief executive.
8) Taking action would only damage Liverpool and the Lib Dem administration.
9) McElhinney and Halsall both had some serious personal dirt on Hilton, which they threatened to throw at him.
10) Hilton is a boring technocrat who will do anything to avoid rocking the boat.
11) Hilton is a fully-paid up member of the officer class, with little commitment to old-fashioned notions such as democracy or justice and little respect for, or understanding of, politics and politicians. Sweeping everything under the carpet is his natural inclination.
No doubt readers will be able to offer up some of their own alternative explanations. The truth is probably that Colin has covered up for all of the above reasons.
What is not in doubt any longer is that there was serious mis-handling by the evil cabal of millions of pounds in public money, which Liverpool could ill afford to lose.
And no-one has been held accountable for that by Hilton, as guardian of the public purse, or by anyone else. The cabal have escaped scot-free. And in a democracy, that is not good government.

CONCLUSION:
  • Hilton's failure to take action against any individuals, in particular McElhinney and Halsall, shows other council officials that they can get away with anything they like. (In fact, both McElhinney and Halsall have been rewarded for the mis-use and loss of public money). The system can therefore be abused by senior officers with impunity. What future confidence can the people of Liverpool therefore now have in Hilton's integrity, or the city council's?
  • Public administration within the city has been brought into further disrepute. Everyone knows there has been a cover-up and that the cabal perpetrated disgraceful abuses of their power and positions which cost Liverpool millions. No action has been taken as a result. (The Harbarrowboy incident when he acted as a lobbyist for Cole demonstrated Hilton's complete lack of interest in rooting out corruption).
  • Politicians like Bradley, who despises the cabal, have been seriously undermined. Bradley can hardly start critiscising quangos in the city, when he can't even put his own house in order.
  • The city council can only exist with the goodwill and support of the people of Liverpool. Even though less than a third of us vote for councillors, there is a tacit acceptance of the city council as both a civic and legal entity. However, Hilton now appears to have condoned illegality and to have turned a blind eye to the abuse of trust which went on. Ironically, his failure has given even further credibility to the campaign for an elected mayor.
  • Any moral authority which the city council possessed has been destroyed. Why should someone who has not paid their council tax, submit to a demand from Halsall's department, when his mate, McElhinney has robbed the people of Liverpool of millions of pounds? And when Halsall has connived with, conspired with and condoned all that went on?
  • Why should anyone pay their parking fine to Liverpool Direct Limited, when its boss McElhinney continues to waste huge amounts of public money to feather his own nest?
  • The organisation of the city of Liverpool is now effectively morally bankrupt.
Ultimately this whole sorry saga can only bring greater cynicism about public life, public service, politics and politicians.

"They are all in it for themselves," people will shake their heads and say.

And who now will ever be able to contradict that view?

Certainly not Colin Hilton.

And perhaps that corrosive spread of cynicism is the biggest crime of all.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its very sad and I can understand your anger.

Anonymous said...

Hilton miscalculated and thought he could get away with sweeping it all under the carpet. The blog prevented that. That is why he pursued Finnegan. It just got personal with him.

Anonymous said...

Hilton is a gob shite

Anonymous said...

Hilton just cares about himself and making himself look good. same as bradley.

Anonymous said...

Hilton should be ashamed to show his face in another Liverpool school. The money he has allowed to be wasted could have been spent on more books, equipment, staff rather than lining mcillehennys pockets.

Anonymous said...

You can't blame Colin Hilton for Henshaw's crimes. what was he supposed to do? Stop trying to run the city to sort it all out?

Anonymous said...

If he was running the City at the time then anonomous would have right to comment, however Hilton went on holiday when the shit hit the fan, and even though he is back now he is still ignoring everything and everyone, so he may as well still be on holiday!

Anonymous said...

You obviously care about the city and about people doing the right thing and the decent thing. Unfortunately, many years experience has taught us that they ARE all in it for themselves. That is the tragedy of it all.

Anonymous said...

If Hilton isnt up to the job that we all hoped he would be doing then how do we get shut of him?

I am sure that i am not alone in not wanting to see a rerun of the Sir Diddy years

Tori Blare said...

Here is the answer we have all been waiting for, the council are taking action against fraud!!!!

17/11/2006
New free-phone number to report Fraud

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Fraud, It's Wrong.

It is theft, help us put a stop to it.

Call free on 0800 121 8805

Anonymous said...

We could always vote Bradley and his supine mob out at the next elections...

Anonymous said...

Agreed

Lets lose the Wet Nelly Club